Installing the Guest Additions on a GUI-less server

  • Start VirtualBox.
  • Start the host in question.
  • Once the host has booted, click Devices | Insert Guest Additions CD Image.
  • Log in to your guest server.
  • Change to the root user with the command sudo su.
  • Install the necessary dependencies with the command apt-get install -y dkms build-essential linux-headers-generic linux-headers-$(uname -r).
  • Mount the CD-ROM with the command mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom.
  • Change into the mounted directory with the command cd /media/cdrom.
  • Install the Guest Additions package with the command ./
  • Allow the installation to complete.

You will see an error stating that the installer couldn’t find the X.Org or XFree86 Window System—that’s okay, because it doesn’t exist on this host.

Reboot your machine, and the Guest Additions will be working. You should see a bit of a performance increase, as well as the extra features (shared clipboard, shared folders, and more) awarded by this installation.